REI Oklahoma has released its year-end report on activities and economic impact from its development services delivered in 2014. During this time, the economic output catalyzed by the organization amounts to more than $277 million, a 28% increase over the previous year’s activities. The creation and retention of 488 jobs were facilitated throughout the state of Oklahoma.
Highlights of the economic impact are as follows:
- REI Down Payment Assistance helped the door swing in the right direction for 284 homebuyers in 2014. Giving families a place to call home contributes to job growth and gains in retail sales.
- Technical assistance helped 2,352 entrepreneurs run more efficiently, making cash registers ring, advertising dollars stretch farther and dreams come true. REI Women’s Business Center is funded in part by the U. S. Small Business Administration.
- Native American and minority-owned businesses were propelled forward through innovative thinking and idea sharing, enhancing the state’s economic framework. 253 jobs were affected, putting people to work.
- Great business plans were set in motion through the origination of 22 loans, filling gaps in the state’s retail and production markets and giving Oklahomans more opportunities to spend their money locally.
- Our commercial space is more than four walls – it’s a flexible, supportive environment for businesses to grow in and adjust. The average tenure of the visionaries, problem solvers and developers housed in our facilities is 3.5 years.
“Our vision is to ‘Expand Oklahoma’s Prosperity’,” said Scott Dewald, REI Oklahoma President and CEO. “Our team of volunteer board members and staff works on this vision every day and our 2014 impact numbers prove we are making a difference. We are proud of a 20% plus gain in our critical impact areas and we congratulate our team on this incredible accomplishment.”
REI Oklahoma, a non-profit economic development firm, offers services statewide. REI Business Lending collaborates closely with local lenders to help entrepreneurs navigate through business lending resources and programs. For women-owned businesses and minority-owned enterprises, REI Women’s Business Center and REI Native American Business Centers offer unique training, as well as technical assistance and access to capital. Additionally, REI Down Payment Assistance provides support to potential homeowners. REI Oklahoma leverages the New Markets Tax Credit program to attract new investments into Oklahoma and create needed jobs in underserved communities.